Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Seans Combs to Deliver Commencement Address at Howard University - Good or Bad?

Before I go all the way off on the students of Howard University who are expressing outrage that Sean Combs (we will refer to him by his government name today) has been selected as the 2014 commencement address speaker, let me take you back to 1997 so you will understand my relationship with Sean Combs and why I'm annoyed today.

The year was 1997 and you couldn't tell me that Sean Combs would not one day be my husband and the father of my children ( I had the same epiphany back in 1991 with MC Hammer). Roll with me for a minute. That Source cover above was epic. In fact I purchased about four copies of this particular issue and tore off the cover. One cover was placed in my bedroom on the mirror, one was placed in my locker at school, one was placed in the plastic cover of my binder that I trotted around with at school, and finally one was placed somewhere else, I just can't recall right now. Sean Combs had swag for days. I loved his music, his persona, his everything. In 1997 I was in awe of him and his business acumen. I remember reading about his dropping out of Howard University to intern with then Uptown Records. He was appointed Vice President of A&R at a ridiculously young age. I LOVED this man. In 1999 I went to the "No Way Out Tour" (with my mom) and I thought I was going to die. Sean Combs was the greatest thing since slice bread. I followed his a career, his love life, everything. Once upon of time, I could have told  you this man's date of birth and what school he went to as a child. That photo in my locker remained until the day I cleaned that locker after high school graduation. Oh yeah, I was in upward bound in High School and toured Bad Boy Records and met him.

Over the years I've had my highs and lows with Sean Combs. In my opinion he is a shitty businessman when it comes to managing and promoting the artists on his label. He was often consumed with greed and lacked empathy. This preventing his label from truly blossoming into the mega house that it could have been.When Sean Combs told us "that he would never stop," I believed him. I believed that he always made that reference towards Bad Boy Records. However, due to his actions and the friction with his artists, it never translated into that. Sean Combs had all the makings to be the Berry Gordy of our generation, but let the opportunity slip by. Regardless, he has done some phenomenal things over the years.

Just a few months ago, he was on "The View" promoting his latest venture Revolt Television. I don't know what it was, but I felt so proud of him. He's really come a long way. I even rooted for him to win the Fuse TV bid. He unfortunately lost to Jennifer Lopez.

Now apparently the good folks of Howard University see what I see in Mr. Combs. We all know that Sean Combs did not indeed graduate from Howard University. He dropped out. However, he has always given the school love and I'm sure that love was reciprocated not just with words, but with checks.

Here is what Howard University announced .....

Entrepreneur and Entertainment Mogul Sean Combs to Deliver Howard University’s 146th Commencement Address

A student graduating in the class of 2014 is probably 21 or 22 years of age. That puts us in the years 1992 or 1993 for their year of birth. On the strength of them being born that year, I would like to tell them to sit the hell down and shut up with their outrage. However, that wouldn't be so nice.

Anyone is the class of 2014 whom has an issue with Sean Combs, the entrepreneur and entertainment mogul, delivering the commencement address lacks foresight. My understanding is that Howard has seen dramatic dips in applications and enrollment over the last decade. This is a troubling issue and one that is also plaguing many of the HBCU's that still exist in our country. I invite these young bucks to pick up a history book and understand the education structure and it's application to African-Americans in this country. See where we came from and examine it against where we are today. Don't sugar coat it. Then tell me if this is really something to blow steam over. Howard needs a boost and Sean Combs is just the person to do that. This also entices Mr. Combs to help the school raise some much needed capital. In my opinion this is a win for Howard University.

However, i'm interested to hear your thoughts.

Are you outraged too? Tell me why.

Sound off

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